Cablevision dives deeper into addressable TV ads and DAI with Google partnership

LAS VEGAS -- New York-based Cablevision is upping its investment in advanced advertising and dynamic ad insertion (DAI), teaming with Google's DoubleClick ad platform to enable better decisioning around purchasing and placement of ads during TV time slots, the company announced here at the National Association of Broadcasters tradeshow.

Television has traditionally shied away from programmatic advertising because of the risk of ads being programmed that fall outside of the industry's strict compliance rules, Google's Daniel Alegre, president of global partnerships, said in a closing keynote here that announced the new partnership. At the same time, IP-based technologies make both DAI and programmatic buying and selling very compelling for content distributors.

Cablevision Chief Operating Officer Kristin Dolan said that the move is part of the operator's focus on "putting the customer first," but the partnership is also a way to capitalize on the knowledge that over half of the downstream traffic on Cablevision's broadband service is video. The operator is also keenly interested in keeping its subscribers watching via its set-top boxes, rather than switching over to another input such as a streaming device -- hence its move two years ago to bring Hulu onto its set-tops.

Cablevision already sells 30 percent of its media on an addressable basis, Dolan said, and the operator has partnered with DoubleClick on its Web properties for some time now. "We delivered over 1 billion addressable impressions this year," she said.

Addressable advertising can boost cable revenue in a number of ways, Dolan said. For example, Cablevision sees about 100 million viewing hours spent across multiple screens; with dynamic ad insertion (DAI), the operator can place ads targeting each of those screens.

Further, IP-based addressable, programmatic advertising can make selling on a premium basis easier as well. "(We have an) audience app which our account reps love," she said, explaining that sales staff can show buyers a customized media schedule and book those ads into specific slots within the schedule during the same meeting. In addition, "we sell more long-tail content … now that we have viewership data" even on smaller networks, giving buyers a better view into who's watching what, when and where.

With dynamic ad insertion moving into the traditional TV space, does that spell the end of more traditional ad programming as well? Not really, both Dolan and Alegre said. "DAI is the third leg of the stool," said Dolan, with traditional advertising still being a great option for major brands, such as automobiles, in order to maintain brand recognition. "But then when you segment you can do it by type of car such as the sedan, the sports car" and so on, she said.

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UPDATED: This story was updated to reflect the fact that the deal is only between Cablevision and Google.